The Witchery

The Witchery is a delightfully dark take on magic and boarding school tropes, wherein a coven of student witches feels compelled to end a bloody, annually recurring curse that's destroying their adopted hometown.

Sixteen-year-old blonde and "pale"-skinned Logan Wyatt is still new to Mesmortes Coven Academy in the "fiendish little witchtown" of Haelsford, Fla., when the Red Three invite her to join their circle. "Sociable and ambitious" Jailah Simmons, greenwitch Thalia Blackwood and deathwitch Iris Keaton-Foster are three powerful Black students who are determined to end the Haunting Season, a "yearly hex that plague[s] Haelsford" in which "monstrous" Wolves emerge from the Swamp and kill. Logan's own magic is weak, but she's also a proxy, someone who holds "the power to manipulate magic against its own rules." With the aid of a powerful amplyfyr stone, and a couple of unexpectedly useful boys from nearby non-magical Hammersmitt School, the witches seek out the enigmatic Wolf Boy, who's prophesied to end the curse. But as bodies begin to accumulate, the magic gets darker and the Wolf Boy proves difficult to control, the struggling coven-mates fear they may be in way over their heads.

S. Isabelle's debut delivers a wonderfully atmospheric and inclusive magical world, full of danger, drama and forever friendship. Multiple POVs allow each distinct voice to provide crucial motivation as they drive the spellbinding plot forward. The Witchery is a thoroughly modern novel steeped in satisfyingly classic witch lore. --Lynn Becker, reviewer, blogger and children's book author

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